Hon. W. S. FIELDING (Shelburne and Queen's) :
Mr. Speaker, with regard to the question of limitation, I agree very heartily with the argument of my hon. friend, but I am obliged to dissent from his conclusion, for after arguing one thing he did the very opposite. I quite concur in his view that it is a dangerous thing to put on this limitation at all, for it is open to the objection that it seems to be an invitation to the arbitrators to award that sum. The Senate appears to have anticipated that objection, and they have added some words to the effect that the arbitrators must not consider it as an admission of anything. But while they have done that, the fact remains that, the mere mention of that limitation is an intimation to the wide world that the arbitrators may award that sum, and no one will be very much surprised if they do award it. I regret that my hon. friend did not follow up his views by moving that this House should not concur in the amendment. I think if he had done so he would have found the House heartily in sympathy with him.
It strikes me that the form of the amendment is strange. It seems as if some one was exceedingly anxious to avoid the men-
tion of a big round sum. What the amendment means is that $2,500,000 will be required for the interest on the guaranteed stock, and the other $2,500,000 is to represent the balance as a maximum. That other $2,500,000 simply means another $60,000,000. Why the Senate do not state plainly that the award shall not exceed $60,000,000 I do not understand, unless some one thought that the mention of that sum might alarm the people, and that it might be camouflaged by merely mentioning the interest on that sum. It is a strange form of amendment to accomplish that which on examination is found, to be its purpose. However, that is a matter of no great consequence. If they wanted to say that the arbitrators should not award more than $60,000,000, why did they not say so in plain English? I am really unable to see what good end is served by concealing the fact that it means an invitation to the arbitrators, subject to the words, it is fair to say, that the Senate iput in, to award $60,000,000 to stocks which many people think are not worth any great sum at all.
I notice there appears to be some difficulty on the part of the Government in regard to this matter. Yesterday in one of the evening papers-I won't call it a Government organ, because I am one of those who think that the only Government organ is the Canada Gazette-hut in a paper very close to the Government, there is a report of something that occurred in the Senate. It is as follows:
In the committee on the Grand Trunk Bill this morning Sir James Lougheed announced that the Government would move two amendments to the Bill, one-
Subtopic: CONSIDERATION OP AMENDMENTS MADE BY THE SENATE TO BILL FOR THE ACQUISITION OP THE SYSTEM BY THE GOVERNMENT.